Advocacy

Ivy-League educated mentor once lived in a women’s shelter before settling into urban ministry and a new place on Syracuse’s South Side

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Every Tuesday, 10 or so high school girls meet in a second-floor South Side apartment.

Most attend Corcoran High School and like to share the ups and downs of their week and talk about their budding love lives through an activity called “Happy, Crappy, Sappy.” At one recent gathering, they discussed the logistics of getting to prom and what they would like to wear. Some sat cross-legged like pre-K students on two black futons and others stretched across the hardwood floor, wrapped in blankets. Their giggles and chatter over a movie faded as they broke for a meal of a large chicken tender, seasoned fries paired with just the right amount of ketchup, and a tangelo, all served with a lemonade-flavored

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Ashley KangIvy-League educated mentor once lived in a women’s shelter before settling into urban ministry and a new place on Syracuse’s South Side

Foreclosure prevention counselor at Home HeadQuarters in Syracuse gets personal

JessicaIannetta
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Joe’von Works grew up on the South Side of Syracuse on Corning Avenue, an area that’s identified as “very low” in economic, education and housing opportunities. That’s the lowest score possible out of five rankings on a scale designed by the local nonprofit, Central New York Fair Housing.

His two children are growing up in Cicero, a town with moderate to high opportunities in all three categories.

Yes despite that, Works doesn’t think where people live determines their opportunities in life.

“I honestly believe you can live anywhere, I really do. You can right all wrongs, you can get out of the mess if you apply yourself,” he said in an interview this spring. “It is easier (in

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Ashley KangForeclosure prevention counselor at Home HeadQuarters in Syracuse gets personal

Expert in housing discrimination John Yinger says segregation hard to untangle

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The dinner table conversations of John Yinger’s youth were spent discussing civil rights issues.

Yinger, a trustee professor of public administration and economics at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, has it in his blood to study issues of race and civil rights. His father, John Milton Yinger, wrote a sociology textbook on race relations that went through five editions in the 1950s.

In fact in 1965, the year Yinger graduated high school, he was able to briefly meet Martin Luther King Jr. because Yinger’s father invited King to deliver the commencement address at Oberlin College.

Yinger was going to drive King from his hotel to a nearby chapel where he was speaking. But at

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Ashley KangExpert in housing discrimination John Yinger says segregation hard to untangle

Homeownership: More than just ‘I own a House’

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Rickey Brown at his Home HeadQuarters office on James Street in Syracuse
Until Rickey Brown did it — twice, eventually — no one else in his immediate family or preceding generations could make the claim.

The 42-year-old black resident of Syracuse bought a house.

He’s the only one to own the home he lives in, which makes him an exception indeed: Only 29.9 percent of African-American households in the city own the home they live in, a rate far less than the 71.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

Brown’s situation is not just unusual. It’s an accomplishment in the face of long odds, according to the recent CNY Fair Housing “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing.”

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Ashley KangHomeownership: More than just ‘I own a House’

Former SU basketball star Lazarus Sims wants to revitalize Syracuse’s Kirk Park in new role as parks commissioner

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Syracuse’s South Side is home to three of the city’s largest parks, a thriving presence that’s very much needed, residents agree — whether it’s a pair of 9- and 10-year-old cousins, a park aide or the man at the top of the ladder: the new parks commissioner and former Syracuse University basketball icon.

“If they don’t have the parks, they’re going to have the streets,” said Edward Mitchell Sr., a park aide at the Southwest Community Center and the athletic director for Syracuse’s inner-city little league baseball. “The kids that don’t utilize our parks are the ones in the streets, because they don’t have anything to do.”

Mitchell noted that’s a different role than

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Stephen ConnorsFormer SU basketball star Lazarus Sims wants to revitalize Syracuse’s Kirk Park in new role as parks commissioner

CNY Fair Housing’s Sally Santangelo: from growing up in Syracuse to helping the city grow

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As the executive director of CNY Fair Housing in Syracuse, Sally Santangelo is  an expert on discrimination and affordable housing, the author of the comprehensive “Impediments to Fair Housing” report that was published late last year and that became the data foundation for the MyHousingMatters.com project.

But long before she was a community figure championing for fair housing rights, Santangelo was a child growing up in a household with its fair share of financial difficulties. But they never lost their home, and Santangelo is confident that was critical.

It was the first impressionable experience she had with the importance of a stable

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Joey CoscoCNY Fair Housing’s Sally Santangelo: from growing up in Syracuse to helping the city grow

Buffalo native finds professional passion as enforcement manager in Syracuse

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Buffalo-bred Greg Ayers remembers standing with his sisters at age 13 and watching construction workers build his new home.

Ayers’ parents had decided this development was a good place to start fresh. They previously lived in a home Ayers’ grandparents owned and knew it was time for a change.

The second home was where he made many of his fondest childhood memories.

“That was the life,” he says.

But just four short years later, his home had fallen apart. Today, 20 years later, he’s put it all back together, helping others find homes of their own, sometimes in the face of discrimination and other unfair practices.

The imposing Ayers — who stands 6 feet, 4 inches, 265 pounds — is the enforcement

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Justin-Rayne BryantBuffalo native finds professional passion as enforcement manager in Syracuse